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  • Writer's pictureNazma Meah

I'm a Muslim so what on earth am I doing advocating for the LGBTIA community!

Hi all. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Again, another elephant in the room that needs to be discussed and I have had a very interesting encounter with someone recently over the LGBTIA community, so I am going to share it with you.

A few weeks ago, I got involved with a fantastic group of professionals that decided that we wanted to help the Early Years Sector, children, practitioners, parents and so on and so forth to understand this community and help them be more inclusive and accepting. So we decided that we are going to produce a practitioners guidance, which will have help and advice to practitioners when it comes to addressing the LGBTIA community in the form of parents and children that we educate. It has been a fantastic start and we are going to be writing a book with various chapters in it on a wide range of topics.

I am a member of some local early years groups that I attend to discuss everything early years! So I advised them all that this is what I am involved in and is there anything they would like to add, discuss, mention that I can take back to the working group and we can address it. In my naivety, I was expecting them to say, how would we discuss this with children, what about parents, how will we approach Muslims/Catholics, how will we help practitioners...however, this is what greeted me in an email word for word "I am really curious about your views on this whole area, particularly in the context of your faith." Well, this stumped me. First I got really angry, then confused, then calmed down, then!!! We have got loads of work to do because we have to change peoples perceptions of who is allowed to think what because of the religion they are!!! Forget the issue at hand, I am dealing with people who are asking me should I be thinking this or that based on my religion.

As the nice person that I am, I replied back politely that this is the reason I am involved because as a human being, I treat every human being the same and as an early years provider, I want to be as inclusive as possible and educate myself at the same time.

Then the next email came back, I quote "But how can you "accept it", it goes directly against your core beliefs and dogma of your faith?" I am still in shock from the first email so the second one actually bought me back from that shock. Not going into all the details...although the emails are a good read, I ultimately said, a lot of things go against my faith, sex before marriage, drinking alcohol, drugs but people are still doing it. Does not change one's faith...I live my faith to the best of my ability and values....the biggest value for me is being a genuinely nice human being...and that does not have. religion!!!

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